Weekly Health Update
~ Jim Butcher
Mental Attitude: Pros and Cons of Instagram for Teens’ Mental Health.
Researchers tracked Instagram use by teens for six months and found a link between frequent use and a greater risk for depression. However, the research team also observed that Instagram use can help adolescents feel closer to their friends, leading to lower levels of depression. The findings suggest that the mental status of teens should be closely monitored when it comes to social media use. Study author Dr. Eline Frison comments, “If using Instagram stimulates adolescents’ closeness to friends, it is beneficial in the long run, but if Instagram is not capable of that stimulation, it is harmful in the long run.”
International Communication Association, April 2017
Health Alert: Children May Have Flame Retardant Chemicals in Their Blood.
If the flame retardant chemicals often found in textiles, electronics, and furniture mix with household dust, they may pose a health hazard. In this study, researchers found that house cats from 17 households had elevated levels of flame-retardant chemicals in their blood. Because small children tend to put things in their mouths, the research team suspects a child’s exposure to these potentially harmful chemicals may be similar to that of the cats in the study. Study author Dr. Jana Weiss explains, “It’s particularly serious when small children ingest these [flame-retardant chemicals], because exposure during development could have consequences later in life, such as thyroid disease.”
Environmental Science & Technology, April 2017
Diet: Western-Style Diet May Increase Depression Risk.
A review of data from 21 published studies involving men and women from ten countries indicates that individuals who consume a Western-style diet—a high intake of red and/or processed meat, refined grains, sweets, high-fat dairy products, butter, potatoes, high-fat gravy, with a low intake of fruits and vegetables—have an elevated risk for depression.
Psychiatry Research, April 2017
Exercise: Fitness a Key to Post-Stroke Recovery.
Individuals who are active and exercise on a regular basis before a stroke are less likely to face disability afterward. Researchers found that among those in the study who suffered a stroke, those who had exercised regularly before their stroke were 18% more likely to perform basic tasks—such as bathing by themselves—three years after the event. Furthermore, fitter individuals were 16% more likely to be able to perform more complex tasks, such as managing money on their own, than those who did not exercise before their stroke.
Neurology, April 2017
Chiropractic: Neck Pain and Muscle Function.
A new study investigated the effect of unilateral posterior neck pain (UPNP) on neck motion and muscle activation. The study included 20 patients with UPNP and 20 individuals without neck pain to serve as a control group. Investigators measured neck motion during prone neck extension as well as muscle activity with surface electromyography and found that deviation during prone neck extension was greater in the UPNP participants than in the control group. Furthermore, cervical extensor muscle activation in the UPNP group was significantly delayed on the painful side during the same motion. These findings suggest that UPNP affects neck motion and the function of the cervical extensor muscles, triggering a need for specific evaluation and exercises in the management of individual with such neck pain. Chiropractors have extensive training in the evaluation and treatment of neck pain and often prescribe specific exercises to aid in recovery.
Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, March 2017
Wellness/Prevention: What Is Angina?
Chest pain that occurs when your heart doesn’t get enough oxygenated blood is referred to as angina. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute mentions the following triggers: increased emotional stress, exposure to extreme hot or cold temperatures, eating a heavy meal, smoking tobacco or using cocaine, and taking medication that narrows blood vessels.
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, April 2017
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